on 19 August 2004
This is truly the best album of this year, and perhaps the best of the new milennium. All the songs have their good points, and unlike on most albums, there are no songs that are just there to fill in time. Jacqueline is a good start - the slow opening developing into a fast-paced foot-tapper. Tell Her Tonight, is, for me, the one disappoinment, I find the vocals irritating. Take Me Out, however, instantly makes up for it and how, with the dramatic slowing down after the intro, and the riff is fantastic. Dark of the Matinee has a very catchy chorus, and is a superb single. Auf Achse is much slower and has less guitar, which is probably a good thing after the previous two songs. Cheating on You has good guitar, and some interesting lyrics. Then the pace picks up again with This Fire, but the album hits another peak with the next two songs. Darts of Pleasure is one of those that you can't get out of your head, not that that's a bad thing, and has some excellent lyrics. But the next song, Michael, is the best lyrically on the album, and probably musically as well, a real eye-opener, and a single that won't do as well as it should do. The last two songs drop the pace again, but Come on Home has a nice melody, while 40 Feet is a nice way to end the album.
Overall, my only criticisms would be that Tell Her Tonight is annoying, and that the album is too short - it could do with another ten minutes onto the 38 it has. But this is the best album I have bought for some years, and I am eagerly awaiting their next offering.
on 16 February 2006
Having been a huge fan of Franz Ferdiand for a while, I was thrilled when I heard they'd be releasing a live DVD, and this is even better than I could ever have imagined. The first disc is highlights from various gigs, and a tour documentary. The second disc is two whole gigs. Wow! Its the only DVD you'll ever need.
But why is it so great? Well, theres certainly enough content to keep you occupied, and for anyone who isn't into Franz, hopefully this will change their minds. For anyone who is a fan, this is heaven. All the classic Franz tunes, plus b-sides and a handful of the songs from the new album as well. I hadn't heard all the b-sides before, but now 'Shopping For Blood' is my favourite Franz song!! All this plus you can stare longingly at the very gorgeous Alex Kapranos for hours on end!! I agree with the other reviewer that the karaoke videos are disappointing, it would be better to actually have the proper video instead of random footage, but seeing as I don't really plan on doing any karaoke, this doesn't put me off.
I highly recommend this to anyone, Franz fan or not. This certainly shows how a music DVD should be done!!
on 13 February 2004
Ok, it's difficult to keep control amongst the hype but I'm going to try to do just that. Yes, the emergence of Franz Ferdinand is extremely exciting - in fact, I've not been this enthusiastic about the emergence of any band in the last five years (with the possible exception of The Coral).
And yes, this is a very good debut. Like all great music, it's influenced by the past but not in thrall to it, mixing past sounds to find a spin of its own. And, with Franz Ferdinand, it is the pop edge to the music that sets it apart from Hot, Hot Heat, Radio 4 etc.
For the first five songs, the album's practically flawless. "Jacqueline" is brilliant, catchy, anthemic and with a great slogan in the chorus. "Tell Her Tonight" is a great little song, the kind of thing which doesn't stand out from the rest but fits in nicely and complements the album - the musical equivalent of your friend who doesn't really say much but you know your entire group of mates wouldn't be the same without them.
"Take Me Out" everyone knows about but still sounds great, especially in the way that it seems to directly mock the Strokes and other bands of the garage revival by spending a minute playing the song how they would play it and then exploding it into something else entirely. "Dark Of The Matinee" is my favourite (and rumoured to be the next single), from it's great (almost classic rock) riff to its incredibly boucy, 2tone-esque chorus of escapism, to great lines such as "I time every journey to bump into you, accidentally". "Auf Achse" is a great moment of keyboard-led pop, moving yet somehow cold and sinister.
After that, there is a slight dip. "Cheating On You" is okay but not up to the previous standard while you start to wonder whether anyone would ever have noticed if "This Fire" didn't exist (and, if so, whether they'd be upset about the fact). It's not that "This Fire" is bad, so much as unremarkable, especially within this setting.
Fortunately, just when you are starting to despair the album springs to life with the catchy punk-pop of "Darts Of Pleasure" and album standout "Michael" which somehow manages to be dance, rock and pop simultaneously with a lyric of brilliant ambiguity.
The final two tracks on the album "Come On Home" and "40 '" are, to be honest, good album tracks but far from out-standing.
Essentially, whilst this album has its flaws, it fully deserves the five-star review for being an incredibly ambitious and exiciting album where any flaws tend to come from taking too many risks rather than not enough. Rather, like The Coral's debut, in that respect (although the two sound in no way similar)
Unfortunately (at least at present), the latter band have so far failed to live up to the promise of their debut and currently seem to be doomed to repeat their debut album, each time less risky, each time not quite as good.
Time will always tell, but one hopes Franz Ferdinand will not suffer the same fate.
on 30 November 2004
I bought this CD on the basis of listening to the more well known hits such as "Take me Out" and "This Fire". I had also listened to a few extracts on their website, which had all seemed like good tunes.
When i recieved the cd i listened to it once, and then reset it so i could listen all over again. Since then it has become one of my favourite cd's, it's hard to describe what makes it such great music to listen to, but i would definately recommend buying it. Or if you are undecided definately check out the website or search for "Franz Ferdinand" in google, which will give you the chance to listen to breif extracts from the songs.
If you have only heard "Take me Out" or "This Fire" and are worried that the others won't be as good you needn't worry, almost all the others are just as good. Altho "Take me out" is still my favourite track :).
on 14 August 2005
Having avoided a lot of the produce from the over-hyped Class of '04 (Keane, I'm looking at you...) I eventually bought this on a word-of-mouth recommendation. Thanks to the friend who convinced me, because otherwise I would have missed a little gem.
Of course it isn't strikingly original, there being nothing new under the sun, and the influences have been well-documented, but Franz Ferdinand mix up driving guitar riffs with 80s pop sounds and occasionally quirky lyrics to great effect, the result sounding fresh and perky. 'Matinee' in particular comes over like a rockier Divine Comedy (no bad thing), while 'Tell Her Tonight' has strong overtones of early Adam and the Ants (ditto).
Basically, if you like the formula that FF are working to, you'll like this whole album, as all the tracks are strong, even if the majority are a little out of the same mould. My first impression was it was too short (38 minutes) but given the similarity between some of the tracks - the chorus in 'Take Me Out' sounds like a reprise of 'Jacqueline' - I think it's wise that it doesn't outstay its welcome, instead keeping its rapid, zippy sparkle and leaving the listener wanting just a little bit more. It's a record that stands up to repeat playing, and I would go so far as to say that, while no American Idiot or even a Hot Fuss, it's definitely one of the Top 5 albums of 2004. If I had to pick a favourite track, I'd say 'This Fire' just shades it.
on 4 November 2004
Ok, I must admit I got swept up in all the hype when this first came out and bought the album after only hearing Take Me Out. I then played it utterly to death, saw them supporting someone, and had a crazy Franz-filled hysterical kind of start to this year. I then decided for my own sanity that I should put it away for a little while and try some of the other British music I knew had to be around somewhere.
I got it out again recently and was once again blown away by the album's energy and sheer nerve. There really isn't a bad song on here, unlike the Libertines' last good but patchy testimony to how long the security managed to keep Pete and Carl from strangling each other this time. Anyway, there's none of that nonsense here. Franz is just bloody good music to do a lot more than dance to, and I'm sure I'll dig this album out in years to come with suitably airbrushed teenage memories. I've no idea how they'll match this with the next album but even if they do nothing else they'll always be the band I loved when I was 16.
I recently saw them on tour...and all I can say is damn you, Alex Kapranos and your smartly dressed Glaswegian friends, I swear I used to fancy other people before you.
on 10 February 2004
I have just listened to the album for the first time in the last half an hour. I was very impressed. I loved "Take Me Out" and "Darts Of Pleasure" when I saw them on the music channels, but with all the hype, it was obviously going to be hard for Franz Ferdinand to meet expectations. They have met mine. There are a few weak tracks, (I didn't particularly like "Tell Her Tonight") and the lyrics could do with some work, (although I have only just heard it once, it may grow on me). The best track apart from the two singles, I would say is Matinee. It has the same sort of catchiness of Take Me Out, with a more complex tune.
PS. I would like to ask people not to review albums they haven't even heard, as the two bad reviewees obviously haven't. If you don't like the singles, don't tell us you hate the albums. Nobody likes everything, and we don't need people putting up unhelpful reviews. If you have bought (and listened to it) the album, and don't like it, then review it by all means.
on 5 January 2005
I believe this is the band to save us (and the music industry) from falling asleep with the same old boring pop. I first heard of Franz Ferdinand at the beginning of 2004 with their hits Take Me Out and Matinee, needless to say I was impressed. I wanted to get the album but thought of it as a gamble as they might only have released the best songs on the album, but as soon as I heard the first track on the album (Jaqueline) I knew that Franz Ferdinand were something else. My expectation levels grew song by song and time after time I was satisfied and was proven wrong about my thoughts of 'might be one hit wonders'. Not one song on the album is wasted, they are all great but if not at first the tracks (namely Tell Her Tonight) will grow on you. The album sounds like something out of the early 80's which makes great listening to anyone of any age. The sound of Franz Ferdinand's debut album is refreshing and has given hope to the music industry that not all bands are the same old boring plastic pop (Busted and McFly especially). All of Franz released songs are excellent but unreleased Jaqueline and 40 Feet have got to be listened to. The self entitled album is one of the few that can be listened to and enjoyed the whole way through. What annoys me is the dismissive comments about Franz Ferdinand when most of the people making these comments have never listened to the album. I have managed to change some of these peoples minds and they have begun to like Franz so that shows that they aren't too bad after all. Franz Ferdinand aren't boring art freaks but even if they are were there is no way that, by proof of the album, they don't make great listening. Clever lyrics, great beats and quirky rythms make the album what it is. Thanks to the music style, fashion and Alex Kapranos' vocals, that make this band the most recognisable anywhere. Even as type this review I listen to this album which once it has a grip of you won't it let go. No wonder Franz Ferdinand's debut album has been a hit both sides of the Atlantic.
They are still just as good live. Look out for these guys in the future, they look set to get bigger again and let's hope their second album is just as good later this year.
Thank God for Franz Ferdinand!!!
on 9 July 2004
In 1990 Glasgow was named "European Capital of Culture." In 2004 it finally merited the title by serving as the launchpad of one of the most cultured rock bands on the planet: Franz Ferdinand, a group of four musicians from different parts of the UK, who met less than 2 years ago on the Glasgow student/club scene.
Their cultural depth is nowhere more evident than in the skillful use of Surrealist collage and Soviet Constructivism to highlight the mechanical, brutalised feel of the music on the video for "Take Me Out."
Although often called a hard city, musical tastes in Glasgow have always been more fey, louche, and decadent, in an old-fashioned Weimar Republic sort of way, leading to music that is both more unique and, until now, less commercially successful than the beerish, laddish rock or druggy blip-blip stuff that has (mis)represented Britain over recent years.
Franz Ferdinand's take on post-punk, retro 80s, art rock (with globs of funk and lounge singing thrown in) is among other things, an expression of this. The attitude -- angular guitars/ rushed, glib, affecting arrangements/ detached, ironic singing -- fits perfectly with the slightly peeved way people feel in big cities, unleashing some of the same modernist angst still associated with bands like Joy Division, but with a Talking Heads sense of fun.
Catchy yet edgy; traditional yet fresh!
on 16 July 2004
Franz Ferdinand have experienced a metoric rise to fame, one week they were on once every couple of days on mtv2.. But as all good things are sure not to last neither did the bands underground-lite status.. They were catapulted into BBC radio 1+2 A list (I remember hearing them 4 times in one day), this really killed their singles for me and when playing the album they irrated me so i'd skip straight through them. The album tracks are all good with no filler, all tracks are worthy to be released as a single, 'Michael' is definately the albums high point, funky, subliminal and extremly camp! On the whole a great record, but as with all over played pop singles i cant sit through them so I would say definately buy it for the album tracks. 8/10